EDUCATION IN MOTHER TONGUE
Boycott for The Rights of Kurds Spreads to Universities
"Education cannot leave out the mother tongue" was the message of Kurdish students who started a boycott at universities after the one-week boycott at south-eastern primary and high schools. They demand education in Kurdish, the Laz language and Circassian.
İstanbul - BIA News Center
29 September 2010, Wednesday
A boycott for the right to education in the mother tongue was initiated at Turkish universities starting from Monday (27 September). The protest action comes in connection with the one-week boycott at primary and high schools in the Turkish-majority region of south-eastern Turkey carried out last week. Yunus Çiçek, student at the renowned Istanbul University and member of the Patriotic Democratic Youth Movement, said, "We started our boycott on Monday because universities opened one week later than primary and high schools. We will do what we can to make Kurdish students attend to our language".
In an interview with bianet, Çiçek expressed their support for the school boycott initiated by the Movement for Research on the Kurdish Language, Development and Education (TZP- Kurdî).
He said that many students joined the boycott at Istanbul Technical University (ITÜ), Marmara University, Yıldız Technical University (Istanbul) and the Konya Selçuk University. The student continued:
"The boycott at universities will last for a week in line with the decision made by TZP Kurdi. Many students join us and do not attend their courses. The ones who come to the faculty sit in the garden".
"Peoples exist with their languages"
Çiçek argued, "If we say that we are living in a democratic country, the most fundamental right to education in the mother tongue should be granted to us".
"It is not only Kurdish, but we want to bring all mother tongues to school including the Laz language [eastern Black Sea region] and Circassian [north Caucasus] because the language decides about the existence of a people. Peoples who forget their languages disappear. We are against forgetting all the different languages in Anatolia and against the disappearance of a people", Çicek argued.
"We want education in the mother tongue to start from primary school. English, German and French are being taught as foreign languages, so why should Kurdish, the Laz language or Circassion not be taught? Why do we not accept the language of a people that we call our brother? We, as Kurdish students, will do what we can for the acceptance of our language". (SP/EÖ/VK)